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Thread: Garden tractor wheel weights

  1. #1
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Garden tractor wheel weights

    I recently ran across some garden tractor wheel weights. They are 10" in diameter and 3/4" thick. Doing the math they should weigh about 23-24 pounds if they are lead. They weigh about that on my bathroom scale. So I'm pretty sure they are a lead alloy.
    When hold one up in the air and I hit them with a hammer they ring like a bell.
    I melted one down into ingots and they don't ring when struck but they don't clink like the alloys I have. I can't explain it but they tone of the clink is different than the ingots I have I know are cast of wheel weights or the alloy I mixed up to about 10 BHN for the full was cutters I use in my 357. They don't sound like the wheel weights and Linotype blend I have that checks out at 14-15 BHN.
    Using my Lee hardness tester they check out at around 11-12 BHN.
    I think they are just car wheel weights cast into the 10"x 3/4" plate is why they ring.
    Who's the guy that test lead on here? I can't recall his name.
    I think I might send him some samples of this stuff just the be sure of what it is.
    Leo

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    CastingFool's Avatar
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    You mean BNE

  3. #3
    Boolit Master

    Winger Ed.'s Avatar
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    The different sizes ring differently the same way different sizes of drums or symbols sound different when ya hit them.

    If a ingot of the tractor weight rings the same as a the same size ingot cast from known wheel weights-
    it probably is made from them.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
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  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    You probably should ask him first since he did a post in the recent past saying that between work and home projects he would not be testing for a while. I have not seen anything to suggest he now has time to provide this very helpful service.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master

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    Cast that lead back into a wheel weight and bolt it on to your tractor! Then add some more! I have over 200 lbs of lead on my garden tractor and it hooks!

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    Maybe give then a drop of muriatic acid to check for zinc. Found zinc in some weighted curtain pulls that way.

  7. #7
    Boolit Buddy
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cosmic_Charlie View Post
    Maybe give then a drop of muriatic acid to check for zinc. Found zinc in some weighted curtain pulls that way.
    Does muriatic acid melt the zinc or something?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Boolit Buddy Ozark mike's Avatar
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    Desolves it. Quick fact take zinc dissolve it into acid until it will take no more then you have lead acid flux
    Brought to you by your friendly neighborhood gun nut


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  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by sukivel View Post
    Does muriatic acid melt the zinc or something?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    It will bubble and fizz. Try it on pure lead to see the difference.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    Thanks for the responses about BNE. As they have a BHN where it is I think it's mostly COWW. So that's how I will Use it.
    I had extra weight on my craftsman tractor when I had a snowplow on it. After three transmissions I took them off.
    Leo

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master

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    A lot of the newer tractor weights are zinc. Early ones were cast iron or sometimes lead. We made some for one farm tractor from leads Had to re do then as the suitcase style opened when used, had to add in a steel frame to keep them from opening up. My cubs hub weights were cast iron at 150 lbs each then filled with fluid. Im betting on zinc in those weights

  12. #12
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    If BNE isn't testing right I tried to think of a way to get a better idea of the alloy in the wheel weights.
    I was running the smelter to test out my ladle I built out of a short fat 1lb. propane bottle by converting some of my small ingots into the larger ingots.
    I read on here about heating the alloy in an oven to get it hot and letting it air cool to remove any heat treating effects.
    I put an ingot of each in the mold and set it on the burner. Did some other cleaning up as the alloys melted. Once fully melted I shut the burner off and let them air cool over night. I figured that way they would as soft as they could be, and done at the same time. I thought this would remove any variables.
    I set up my Lee hardness tester in my press. I set an ingot on the ram and lifted it up so it hit the frame of the press. I then adjusted the tester so at that point the rod came up flush. This lets me do the tests the same each time.
    I tested on 6 places on each ingot. Then averaged the results.
    My known coww came out at 9.8 BHN, the Mystery alloy came out 9.5 BHN.
    I don't think I'll get it tested, they appear to be made from coww's. So that's how I'm going to treat them.
    Another thing I did after all that I took the couple of canned chili cans I used to catch the slag from the casting pot when I fluxed. I know I toss out some lead along with the slag. I put the slag from these cans into my new ladle and heated and fluxed this slag and poured out any clean lead into my Lee ingot mold and got one full ingot, one 1/2 ingot and a bit more.
    I was surprised I got the much out.
    I tested these ingots when I tested the others and it came out 13 BHN. I have some cow - lino alloy that checks 14.3
    I'll try to be more careful when I'm fluxing but I'll keep my slag and cook it for the lead.
    On my home made ladle I'll get some pics of it and put them in the home made thread.
    Leo

  13. #13
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    On my Craftsman Tractor the weights were black plastic, sand filled. I don't recall the weight but they weren't much but did help. I had an old cinder block that was three holes long instead of two holes long like most. It had the holes full of concrete. It was just the same width as the frame on the rear of the tractor. I got some angle iron and built a frame on the rear to hold this cinder block. Without the snow plow blade on the front it made the steering a bit light. Easy to get the front tires off the ground.
    The transaxles they used in these tractors wasn't really meant for that kind of work. The cases flex and this lets the gear teeth slip past, this can break gears.
    On one transaxle it broke the top right out of the transaxle.
    It had the Briggs & Stratton 12 HP. engine. With the weights and plow blade it could really push snow. I could not believe how much it could push.
    After a blew a couple transaxles I took the cinder block off. It still pushed snow but the tires would spin when I pushed to hard instead of the transaxle was to stressed.
    I was talking to some others and that those B&S 12 HP engine were under rated. They put out over 17 HP. 5 HP don't sound like much but that's a 41% increase in HP. That's a bunch on any engine.
    Leo

  14. #14
    Boolit Grand Master
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    When I lived in MI and had several acres to mow and a HUGE garden to plow and snowplow a 300 foot driveway(!), I had an 18PH tractor and it had CAST IRON wheel weights I added when needed. No Pb there. (Now I know why I moved to AZ! Sun is easy to plow.)

    I know our forklift in the warehouse where I worked had HUGE Pb alloy weights in it. But those could be anything that melts with Pb from what I have found out in recent years.

  15. #15
    Boolit Grand Master

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    Thats a nice score. Most of the equipment weights that I have been around are steel or iron.

  16. #16
    Boolit Grand Master Texas by God's Avatar
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    Granddad’s big old orchard tiller provided 2 - 2”x 14” “cheese wheels” to us boys of COWW-like alloy. I still have most of one of them kept in reserve. Thanks, Granddad!

  17. #17
    Boolit Master 44magLeo's Avatar
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    I finally went down and picked up the rest of the weights. Three more. I started by setting them on the floor and scrubbing most of the crud off.
    Put then in my pot. Fired up the H/F weed burner to get things started. saves a bit of time when you start with a few thousand BTU's. Once mostly melted I just ran the burner under the pot.
    I used dry pine tree needles I collected when I was melting the first weight down. I fluxed twice with then then with bees wax.
    Got to try out the small ladle I built. It holds a bit less than the big one. Plenty to pour two ingots in the 2.5 lb. molds.
    These 3 gave me 78 lbs. Along with what I got the first time gave me about 110 lbs. for $63. That's about $.573 per lb.
    I told him if he finds more lead I'd pay him $.50 a pound.
    With the 4 2.5 lb. molds using the small ladle pouring 2 ingots at a time, once I get all 4 full it's almost time to flip them over to get the ingots out.
    I use this short break to flux the pot with a bit more bees wax to help keep the alloy mixed.
    I set up out back this time. In the shade is a bit cooler. Close to were the garden hose is. With the nozzle set on mist I could even speed up the cooling if I wanted to.
    Finished up just before it stated to rain. I hurried to pick up the few things I was using and get the ingots inside. The rain lated maybe 5 minutes.
    Leo

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check